The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07267
Date: 28 February 1896
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: New York
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1255
Document Type: ALS


[scroll:] H. WUNDERLICH & CO.
H W & CO.
868 B'WAY N- Y-

Feb. 28 1896.

Dear Mr. Whistler,

I was in hope that by this post I might report the Sale of the painting to Mr. Pope[3] (Carmen[4]), but at the last moment he says that the painting is not finished, it is not signed and it is a disagreable [sic] subject. I offered to let him have it, subject to exchange for some thing he might like better, so that is how matters stand at present. He may reconsider it, but it is doubtful. It certainly is a most unpleasant subject, and as long as you were sending something, you might have sent something a more agreable [sic] female than the Petroleuse, and, at any rate, signed it.

[p. 2] Some of the lithographs I must say, have no excuse for existence. The man who can do the charming doorways & the Complete "Priest's House - Rouen[5]" ought not - I say this with great diffidence - publish the Smith's Yard (Good Shoe)[6] and the Girl with bowl[7], neither of which do your reputation any good. I suppose you will look upon me as one of the worst of Philistines &c. &c. but out of the mouths of babes, sucklings[8] and others, come words of wisdom, as well as of foolishness. Whenever you think it best to have the Nocturne[9] back, I will send it, though I think it should remain here for a while.

I hope Mrs. Whistler[10] is improved, and am,

Yours too Sincerely perhaps,

E. G. Kennedy.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

G. Dieterlen, employee at H. Wunderlich and Co., New York.

3.  Mr. Pope
Alfred Atmore Pope (1842-1913), manufacturer and collector [more].

4.  Carmen
Crimson note: Carmen (YMSM 441).

5.  Priest's House - Rouen
The Priest's House, Rouen (C.105).

6.  Smith's Yard (Good Shoe)
The Good Shoe (C.122). JW replied on [14 March 1896], answering Kennedy that these were the 'most remarkable among all the new lithographs' (#09738).

7.  Girl with bowl
Girl with Bowl (C.118).

8.  out of the mouths of babes, sucklings
Alluding to: 'And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?' Matt. 21.16.

9.  Nocturne
Nocturne: Black and Gold - The Fire Wheel (YMSM 169).

10.  Mrs. Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She was critically ill with cancer.